Before the criminals they were tracking headed underground, evidence pointed toward two organizations as key to an epic art heist. Despite their best efforts, Laurel Beacham and her team haven’t caught a break in months—even Jack Hawkes’s unofficial intel stuttered to a halt. But on New Year’s, as Big Ben’s bell tolls midnight, the guilty return and nowhere is safe. A source in Rome is killed within hours. Other allies are attacked in Rome and London, and a contact in Germany reports dangerous shadows closing in. The nearer the answers, the higher the stakes. Worse, Jack may not be the only one Laurel must learn to trust to avoid another brush with death.
Author Ritter Ames recently discussed ABSTRACT ALIASES with The Big Thrill.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Because the character is an art recover expert who operates primarily in Europe, I hope readers see art in new ways. The books are fast paced and the dialogue witty (and sometimes a bit snarky), so I hope readers enjoy these characters and love to see how they solve the crimes they’re charged to solve. I also hope readers love the settings used in the story, as much of the information on locations and culture are not made up just for the story.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
Fans consider this series a clean series. Amazon has erroneously tagged it as a cozy, but it truly doesn’t match any of the major criteria for cozy. However, there is no gratuitous gore, violence, or language, and I think that might be why it gets the classification it does. Basically, this series is a fun fast read with a challenging story arc that blends famous art and history with interesting characters and well-known locations. The series also deepens on the character front with each new title, and many readers have said it’s much more in a genre mystery than they first expected.
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I’ve learned a lot of things in my research. Nothing that particularly surprised me, but some things I hadn’t thought about using at first that I decided to add once I was firmly in the manuscript draft.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
Since the first book in this series, readers and reviewers have been trying to categorize the series. There have been many, many suggestions, but the one I’m probably the most appreciative of is when a fan said “The Bodies of Art Mysteries are like when the television show White Collar meets the Vicky Bliss series.” Since I’m a huge fan of the late Elizabeth Peters, I was honored that this reviewer likened my characters to those in Peters’s mysteries. And I loved White Collar on the USA Network so that thrilled me even more.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
The aforementioned Elizabeth Peters, Agatha Christie, Frederick Forsyth, Judith Cutler, Steve Berry, and Elizabeth George. All of these authors always put me into the setting and the action, and they have great characters who I can’t wait to visit again and again.
“Short of hopping on a plane, tearing across Europe with art expert Laurel Beacham is the way to travel. InABSTRACT ALIASES , Ritter Ames delivers a complex plot that will keep you guessing until the end, and captures the high-end art world in such detail one wonders if she isn’t moonlighting as an ‘art recovery expert’ herself!” — Carlene O’Neil, Author of the Cypress Cove Mystery Series
“Filled with twists and turns, action, art heists, and plenty of chemistry between the very handsome Jack Hawkes and daring narrator Laurel Beacham…rich descriptions and a discriminating tone of detail…ABSTRACT ALIASES continues an excellent collection from Ritter Ames.” — Girl with Book Lungs
Ritter Ames is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Organized Mysteries and the Bodies of Art Mysteries. She lives atop a very green hill with her husband and Labrador retriever, and spends each day globetrotting the art world from her laptop with Pandora blasting into her earbuds. Often with the dog snoring at her feet. She’s been known to plan trips after researching new books, and keeps a list of “can’t miss” foods to taste along the way.
To learn more about Ritter, please visit her website.